Take your PR kick-off process from zero to hero

Take your PR kick-off process from zero to hero

The start of a PR relationship is the same as the start of any relationship: it requires honesty and collaboration, but ultimately it should be a time to get to know each other. Get the kick-off process right and the relationship with your PR agency should be plain-sailing. Get it wrong, however, and you could both be left walking around in the dark, with nasty surprises along the way and with no results at the end.

If you can tick these five boxes, you’ll be able to take your kick-off process from zero to hero:

1. You were introduced to your team…

… and realised they were the same people you met at the pitch – how refreshing!. This is the team that will be working with you on a day-to-day basis, meeting the deliverables and getting the results. Getting to know the people you’ll be working with is essential, and vice-versa. You need to know who will be on the update calls, who to call if a crisis happens and who will be coordinating meetings, just as much as your agency will need to know who the key spokespeople are and who will be synchronising diaries and managing content approval.

2. You found out everything, really everything…

… on both sides! Setting expectations for both parties – the agency and the client – is essential to make sure the relationship runs smoothly. What are the top publications you want to be seen in, and what type of content does your agency need from you in order to get in them? Do you have a disgruntled customer that could decide to go to the press? If so, your PR team needs to know about it.

3. You got the messaging right…

… and it was a collaborative effort. Both the client and the agency are experts here: the client knows their business inside out, obviously, and the agency knows what is already being written in the press and what opinions are being shared by the CEO of the closest competition. It should be a joint effort to define the messaging that will be used in the campaign, laying the foundations for your PR team to come up with some killer headlines and bold opinion topics to issue to press.

4. You planned for the future…

… and it looks bright. You put a plan in place for the next quarter, including thought leadership topics with key spokespeople; you discussed topics that had the potential for news-hijacking opportunities; you talked about which customers could be announced as ‘new wins’ and which would be better suited to a case study. You made sure you both understood the balance between your company’s tone of voice and what was appropriate for each medium, whether it’s social media, a national newspaper or a blog. It’s essential to have a plan in place, mirrored by your sales activity, that will continue to roll through each quarter of the campaign.

5. It didn’t all stop after the first meeting…

… it was just the start of a great relationship. This is potentially the most important part of the process; if the initial kick-off meeting is filled with hopes and dreams and huge plans for front-page news, but it doesn’t actually become fruitful, then perhaps the process wasn’t that successful after all. The first meeting should be followed by an executable action plan – delivered not within a week, but within a day – featuring weekly update calls, reporting and step-by-step activity to get the results you inevitably discussed in the pitch, demonstrating that in fact, it wasn’t ‘all talk’ at all.

What it really comes down to, however, is that the kick-off process should achieve a realisation from the client that they are now in safe hands, and that their PR team will be unburdening them from the work they have tried to do themselves in the past.

So, are you ready?

If you’re looking for a PR agency to help you meet your business objectives, get in touch – prworks@neopr.co.uk.

Ashley Carr

Managing Director.

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